Electronics (Switzerland), vol.12, no.8, 2023 (SCI-Expanded)
Electric distribution grids are seeing an increased penetration of photovoltaic (PV) generation. High PV generation exceeding the grid load demand results in a reverse active power flow in the grid, which raises the voltage level. This paper presents a reactive power controller to overcome the overvoltage problem in the distribution system. A sequentially coordinated and cooperative volt/var control technique is presented. The proposed controller aims to use as low reactive power as possible while mitigating the voltage issues. Accordingly, it reduces the active power loss associated with reactive power flow and reduces the probability for active power curtailment of the PV system. The controller is developed for each lateral and is replicated for all laterals. The lateral controller coordinates the operation of the smart PV inverters in a sequential manner. Cooperative control is proposed between the laterals’ controllers as well and is engaged when the individual laterals’ controllers are unable to solve their overvoltage issues. The performance of the proposed controller is evaluated by comparing it to two other volt/var controllers, and it demonstrates better performance in terms of reactive power requirement. To conduct the simulation study, a modified version of the unbalanced IEEE 13-bus system is utilized, which includes an additional 44 low-voltage bus. The study involves simulating 720 operating points across daily time series. The results indicate that the proposed controller effectively addresses overvoltage problems that occur during periods of high PV generation.